507: Leaning Into Your Unique Mix Of Strengths To Find More Meaningful Work



Cindy Gonos (Director of Client Success) & Kate Wilkes (Chief People Officer),

Kate & Cindy are passionate about helping people in the first steps towards finding work they love, and often use their strengths expertise in that process! They are the first people that folks talk to at HTYC!

on this episode

Have you taken every assessment and personality quiz out there only to find that you’re still in the same place? 

While the knowledge of being a “relator” or “achiever” or “learner” is interesting, you still don’t have a raise, a new career, or work that makes you happy.

The key to getting off this roller coaster to nowhere is a deep and thorough understanding of your strengths, and then applying that knowledge in a way that is useful and valuable. 

Your strengths come so naturally to you they are often overlooked and underestimated. It’s tough for us to really define how we use our strengths, and even tougher to communicate that to our bosses or hiring managers. 

To help you get off this rollercoaster and become more in tune with your strengths, HTYC’s own Cindy and Kate are taking over the podcast. They have each spent years learning and teaching strengths, and in this episode, they share how your unique combination of strengths work together, and explain how to capitalize on those natural abilities to help you thrive in your current work or find more meaningful work. 

What you’ll learn

  • How to understand what your mix of strengths mean to you
  • The scientifically proven link between strengths and career satisfaction
  • How nurturing your unique set of strengths can lead to more meaningful work

Success Stories

“It’s hard to find something that fits, that’s why so many people change careers. When I finally understood my strengths and how I could apply them it all made sense. It just made it easier to see what types of jobs and roles would fit me. In my new career I get to do the marketing that I love with a company I’m excited about.”

Kirby Verceles, Sales & Marketing Director

All the stars aligned and I ended up finding the right thing at the right place at the right time, and it was you guys! Everything that you said was speaking to me and the things that you had done in the job that you had transitioned out of and into. Also how finding work that you love is your passion for people! Honestly, it was you Scott, I mean, the way that you talked about it, how passionate you were, I was like, there's no way he's gonna put out a faulty product. So I'm gonna try it, you know… I recommend you to all my friends, you know, even if they don't realize that they're looking for a new job, I'm like this is the first step, let's do this! Even if you maybe don't move out of this career. This is going to help!

Maggie Romanovich, Director of Learning and Development, United States/Canada

Kate Wilkes 00:01

I can walk out of this office at the end of the day with a smile on my face. And I can know exactly which strengths I was living in today to make me feel good and when you know that, you will never settle for less than that, again.

Introduction 00:22

This is the Happen To Your Career podcast, with Scott Anthony Barlow. We help you stop doing work that doesn't fit you, figure out what does and make it happen. We help you define the work that's unapologetically you, and then go get it. If you feel like you were meant for more and ready to make a change, keep listening. Here's Scott. Here's Scott. Here's Scott.

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:47

We spent a lot of time talking about working in your strengths on this podcast. But you may have found yourself wondering, why does strength even matter? I guess it depends. Do you want to even enjoy your work? If so, Gallup has some amazing data that they have gathered from more than 34 million people that strongly suggest that people who have a ridiculously high awareness about themselves are more satisfied with their work and are happier. You might have even taken every assessment, personality test and quiz out there only to find out that you're still in the same place. But in order to do work that you're great at and gets you excited, you have to understand what your strengths mean for you.

Cindy Gonos 01:33

It's the very first thing that we start with– we're not looking at jobs, we're not looking at resumes, we're not doing any of that stuff. We're figuring out– who the heck are you, what makes you tick, where do you shine, right? Because that's where your strengths are.

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:45

Today, I am not actually your host. You've heard Kate and Cindy on the podcast in the past. So Cindy, she has been in many roles on our team. And currently she's leading our team, but also she has been, for quite a period of time, the first person that people talk to when they decide they want help from HTYC. So many people have been able to meet Cindy. And she's wonderful. And joining that team, the same team that Cindy has been on, is Kate. And now, Kate's one of the first people that everybody gets to talk to– both are phenomenal, you're in wonderful hands with them. They both have made many career changes throughout their entire life, and have well over 20 plus years of experience. Everyone on the HTYC team takes strengths pretty seriously. We're always evaluating if each person on our team is working on their strengths, and constantly learning more and more about how to make that better, easier, more effective, and continually moving people out of positions that don't fully leverage their strengths to. It's an ongoing process. It's not something that you do once and you're done. It is continuous day by day work. So often we'll use Clifton StrengthsFinder language, and they break strengths down into 34 strengths. And we're very focused on how we uniquely use them. Today, Kate and Cindy, are going to go over how do you understand what your mix of top strengths means for you, particularly in Clifton Strengths terminology, and how you can use that insight to figure out what creates fulfilling work for you. All right. I'll let them take it from here.

Cindy Gonos 03:35

Hey, Kate, how are you?

Kate Wilkes 03:36

I'm good. How are you, Cindy?

Cindy Gonos 03:39

I am excellent. I am so excellent. Kate, what are we talking about today?

Kate Wilkes 03:43

Well, I think we're gonna talk about some really fun stuff today. I'm so excited. Because you and I love to talk about strength, and that is what we're talking about today. You know, a while back, we had that convo about how there's differences between your skills and your strengths. They're totally separate things. A pro tip, if you haven't heard that episode, go check it out. It is episode 475 Breaking Out of Your Career Funk by Digging Into Your Strengths. We had so much fun on that one that we wanted to do a kind of a follow up today. We'll put the link for that episode in the show notes though, if you need to go find it. I just wanted to start off, I guess, by talking about, again, a quick reminder that strengths are those things that you are innately or inherently good at, like, you can't help but being good at those things. Whereas skills are like the things that you've built over time, like learning how to fix the office copy machine, because it breaks down every single day, right? Every time it loses its mind you got to figure out how to fix it. So, like, over time, you could become like a genius, really skilled at fixing copy machines. On the other hand, you already have that within you. So we find that if you have a ridiculously high awareness of yourself, if you truly truly truly know yourself, you will be more are satisfied in your work, because you're going to figure out much easier– what work will actually fit you versus trying to fit yourself into a role. Right?

Cindy Gonos 05:10

Yeah. Absolutely. And you said it, Kate, strengths are things that are natural, right? We cannot help, but be good at them. Sometimes we'll do something for the first time, it'll come so easily, like, "woah! so easy." And we can't really put our finger on why it comes so easily for us. So what we're going to talk about today is how you can become or start, right? You can start to become more self aware, because it's not going to just happen, boom in one day, right? So we're going to start by, how do we understand how all of your experiences have helped and are going to continue to help nurture your strengths, and the way that our own combination of strengths work together, and how we can use those combinations, specifically, when it comes to finding meaningful work.

Kate Wilkes 06:00

It's funny. I just was talking to a lady on the phone the other day, she was so sweet, and she could never figure out, like, she never understood that her strengths were something she was just great at. And then she also said, and many people that I've talked to relate with this, she said that she thought that since she was so good at something without trying, like, anybody must be able to be good at that, right? Like we forget to give ourselves kudos for the things that we're great at, if we didn't, like, work really hard to get there, right? So just because your strengths come naturally, come easy to you, don't discount those. Your mix of strengths is going to be your mix. And those are super, super important things to dig into. So that's what we're gonna keep talking about today. But you may have already taken an assessment, StrengthsFinder, or another assessment. But no matter what type of assessment you've taken, or how many you've taken, if you really, truly don't understand the results, that can just often lead us back to square one or give us even more questions than answers, right?

Cindy Gonos 07:07

Yeah, absolutely. I often talk with folks and they'll say, "Oh, like this assessment, and I got these words. And I don't know what to do with them now." Right? Like now what do I do with them? So there's a couple different things that will pop up after folks take these assessments. We're gonna kind of want to talk about, like, what happens after you take an assessment, and kind of what the most common issues that arise, right? So I think the first thing is, someone will take an assessment, and the words are just not resonating. They don't see it. They're like, "That is not me", right? I am not adaptable. I don't have empathy." Right? They're kind of just like looking at that word, and they're like, "They're just not resonating with it." Right?

Kate Wilkes 07:54

Yeah. And sometimes it is hard to get past the words. But you know, it's just a starting point to have those. Those strengths, those labels that you feel like maybe don't fit, but you have to dig deeper. One thing that we often see when people come to a first time conversation with us, is they're like, "I have my results. And maybe that's me, but I don't really see why or I don't know how to like, talk about that in an interview or whatever." And it's because they truly don't have that deep, deep understanding. And I always say that by the time our coaches help you out to dig deep into your strengths, you're really going to know how to talk super smart about not only what you can do, but like who you are.

Cindy Gonos 08:35

I love that. I love it. Yeah, I'll hear the Yeah, I get I get that's my strength. But how do I get paid? Do I get money to do that? Right. So again, it's kind of taking those words out of the context of just that one word, right? Coaches are really great at knowing which questions to ask to kind of start to dig deeper and say, Okay, where do you see it show up here? Where do you show it? See it show up there? Right? We hear it. So often people will say, Okay, I kind of get it. I'm not really a kind of get in? Or they'll say yes, I see that. This may be my strength, but they're always associating it with something negative. Right? They're like, okay, yeah, I get that. But my responsibilities kind of bit me in the butt over and over. It's like I just say yes to stuff because I'm responsible, right? That sort of thing. Have you when you're talking to folks, Kate, do you? Do you hear them say stuff like that?

Kate Wilkes 09:32

Yeah, they interpret their strengths. They like, attach them to every fault they feel like they have in them, instead of seeing them as like, "Oh my gosh, I'm really good at these things. And I don't even try."

Cindy Gonos 09:46

Yeah, or they'll look at it and they'll say, "Yeah, I'm using that strength" but they've almost like put themselves in the box of where they've used that strength and if they're in a role, friends, if you're in a role that you don't like, your strengths might still be showing up, right? It doesn't mean that you want to be using your strengths in that way. I often tell folks strengths are those... it's the skeleton key, right? That helps us transcend those boxes we accidentally put ourselves in. That's why when we're working with clients it's the very first thing that we start with– we're not looking at jobs, we're not looking at resumes, we're not doing any of that stuff. We're figuring out who the heck are you, what makes you tick, where you shine, right? Cause that's where your strengths are. So you have to put it into that perspective. When you hear folks on the podcast, and you're thinking, "How do they go from this industry doing this job into this totally different industry?" It's because of their strengths. Strengths are the key to getting people in and out of the places that they really want to be.

Kate Wilkes 10:51

When I talk to people who never have done their strength, right, and I'm trying to explain to them the benefits of doing their strengths and like, if you're standing in front of a mirror, and you're looking at yourself, and you just kind of see what's on the outside, right, like just the surface level stuff, need to lose an inch here, need to lose a pound there, whatever. But when you do your strength, and you dig deep deep deep into those and what they mean to you, then you can look in the mirror and truly see the whole person, not just what's on that surface level. So now what do they do, right? So we're telling them, they need to go take an assessment, they don't even know what it is maybe or they're like, whatever. What do they do now?

Cindy Gonos 11:34

Okay, so if you've already taken an assessment, dig your results back up. A lot of times, also, I'll talk about them, like, "Have you ever taken Clifton, Enneagram, Myers Briggs?" And he goes, like, "Oh, yeah, yeah, years ago." And they just kind of took them and they just left them to the wayside. Right? So find those results, go back to your results, and start to look at them in a different way. I think a lot of times, I know this, Kate, I know this. When folks take these assessments, it's usually in the capacity of, oh, their boss made them do it or their company has them do it for personal development. So they're in that mindset of work, work, work, right? So what we're trying to do, what HTYC is trying to do in general, is tear down that barrier between work-you and you-you. Right? So I guess the other thing I would say is, if you've taken one of these assessments, but you've taken it from, like, your work persona, scrap it and take that bad boy again, right? Because when you're taking these assessments, you should be taking them as you as a normal person, you as a person, a regular person, right? Because when we start to think about strengths, and we really start to dive in part of becoming self aware, isn't like let me become self aware of work-Cindy, right. That is not what it's about. There's lots of different things that have, like mentioned, have nurtured and have kind of made our strengths what they are today. So how we grew up, where we grew up, what we were exposed to, there's this intersection between all of our experiences, and our strengths.

Kate Wilkes 13:10

Yep. Super important. I always tell people, "Also do that when you're in a good mood. Don't be stressed out. When you sit down and forget about work, put everything else aside and just chill out for a minute and enjoy the process because that's what's gonna get you the best results." But, you know, those talents are naturally enduring. It's like, it's unlikely that your top themes will change really significantly over the course of your life. And we know because we've been doing ours, both of us, have been doing ours for years. They may move a smidge, but depending on where you're leaning into some of them, but they're not really going to shift too far over time.

Cindy Gonos 13:46

No, for sure. Okay, Kate, I thought it would be really fun for us to play a game with our... like I said, a game. But we're going to show how our strengths have endured and how they have shown up from like, all of time, from like, little kidness, right, to now. So, Kate, you know what my 2023 top five strengths are, right? So a lot of times when I'm talking with people, and they don't know what their unicorn is, right? They just don't know, we talk a lot about unicorns. Our default to the, "what did you want to be when you grow up?" Like when you were a kid, what did you want to be, and probably be like, oh, that's silly, right? It could be anything. You and I talked about this. I know you wanted to be and you know what I wanted to be when I was a kid. So let's see if, in fact, our experiences and our history and our path resonate with our strengths today. So Kate, what did I tell you that I wanted to be when I was a kid?

Kate Wilkes 14:54

You said you wanted to be an actress. And I feel like I knew that in my heart before I even asked you the question that that was just got to be the answer.

Cindy Gonos 15:01

Yes, I did want to be an actress, more specifically, I wanted to do improv. I wanted to stage acting, essentially, I wanted to be Carol Burnett. Like that was my dream because I knew I couldn't sing, Kate. I mean, come on now, everybody hears me. I am not a great singer. And I'm not a great dancer. But I can joke, sing and I can joke dance. So, okay, so let's see, when I was a little kid, I wanted to be an actress. I did theater as a kid, right? So this is something... these are strengths that started getting nurtured when I was young, because I did play when I was a kid. So let's wrap it out. So, Kate, what's my number one strength? Tell everybody.

Kate Wilkes 15:45

If anybody has met you, they know it's Woo. Okay, Winning Others Over.

Cindy Gonos 15:51

Yeah, one thing too, as we kind of talked about before with like, these words aren't the "be all and all", right. Like Winning Others Over. First of all, can I just put that on a resume? Give me the jobs, I can win others over, right? But it's about building rapport. Right? So Kate, when you think about little Cindy, as an actress, how do you think my Woo would show up?

Kate Wilkes 16:16

I think that you are one of those people that any single human could, like, resonate with because you are able to find those points of connection or whatever. So it's easy for you to build rapport with people. I always make a joke that Cindy if she's going to be in a conversation with a potential client that she's just off to make a new best friend, because that's what you do. Right?

Cindy Gonos 16:44

Yeah. So in essence, six year old Cindy on the stage, I have to win the audience over. Right? So from the time I was... I think I did my first play, I know I did my first play when I was five years old. And it was Senor Delgado, that was the character that I played. I will remember that my whole life. I will sing the song in private to you later on. Okay, Kate, what is my number two strength?

Kate Wilkes 17:08

This is the one that I love and hate most about you. Because sometimes I'm not ready to show up in this way. But you are, Positivity.

Cindy Gonos 17:19

Yeah. So Positivity is being an optimist. Right? So if you think of me today, Kate, and you think of me as well, Carol Burnett on the stage, right? That positivity is showing up. I just want to. I didn't want to be in, like, dramatic scenes, even to this day I don't want to be in dramatic scenes, right. So that positivity, it's kind of like the comedian in me, if you will, if I can call myself a comedian. Okay, what's my number three strength, my top five?

Kate Wilkes 17:50

This one's very clear to you if you've ever met Cindy, it's Communication.

Cindy Gonos 17:55

So okay, I think communication, we're gonna talk about my communication a little bit later on when we talk about a combination of strengths. But I think communication is one of those strengths where people will see that word and they're like, "what does that mean?" Right? Because it can mean a lot of different things.

Kate Wilkes 18:13

So many things.

Cindy Gonos 18:14

It can mean so many things. But I think at the core, communication is about words. This is where it's like, how do your words show up, right? We'll talk about that later. But on the stage as a kid, I guess, words and communication are important, right? What do I have to do? I have to be clear, I have to be captivating. All that sort of stuff, right? So I gotta use that frame, even as a little on the stage. Okay, what's my number four strength?

Kate Wilkes 18:41


Cindy Gonos 18:44

I always call Activator, my ADHD strength. Because it's the leg jumping for you, it's the way I look at it. But it's about taking action. So if you were to think about me as a kid, where would you see Activator showing up as, like, a theater kid?

Kate Wilkes 19:01

I would see you in the lead role, center stage, just like putting yourself all the way out there.

Cindy Gonos 19:09

Yeah, for sure. I think part of what has helped nurture that activator in me throughout the years is, you don't get every part you auditioned for. Right? Even when you're a kid, there's no like participation roles a lot of the times, right, when you're thinking about doing plays. So as a kid, I told "No" on a regular basis, because you're not going to get every part. But if you wanted to get any part, you had to keep going out in auditioning, right? You had to keep trying out. So I think that helped to nurture that Activator in me because I wasn't afraid to hear 'no' and I wasn't afraid to keep going out there. Right? Okay, so this one I think is tricky. I don't know, maybe let's see if we can tie it in. What's my number five on my top five strengths?

Kate Wilkes 20:00


Cindy Gonos 20:01

Okay, how do you think strategic would show up in the theater, Kate? Because I really struggled a little bit with this.

Kate Wilkes 20:06

So I feel like, for you, Strategic is like you love the stage and like the show must always go on, right? Like probably no matter what happens you'll figure it out.

Cindy Gonos 20:17

Yes. Oh, that makes me think of a funny story. So we did 'lil Abner' as our musical when I was in 11th grade, and I was playing Miami Yocum. And I remember Mr. Wen, our choir director, said, because we were very serious about theater. We weren't supposed to go to our classes that day, right? We needed to focus. And I said, "Mr. Wen, I have lab and chem, like, I gotta go to chemistry, like, I gotta go to chemistry, my lab partner's there." And you know, just the way it is Kate, we were blowing glass with the beakers. And I busted one and caught my hand open. Then somehow they had to come and take me to the emergency room. And I remember I was like, "I have to run into the theater and tell Mr. Wen." And it was like opening night. And I was like, "Mr. Wen, I gotta go get some stitches, and I will be right back." And I remember we, like, had to strategically bandage on my hand. And they made me wear these like weird old lady gloves that were not part of my costume to cover up my stitches. So yes, absolutely Strategic. You gotta keep going. Right?

Kate Wilkes 21:18

That's right.

Cindy Gonos 21:19

So okay, so I feel like a lot of those strengths that I've had now, right, obviously, these are my 2023, right? 44 year old version of my strengths. And over time, like, from the time I was a kid, I've been using a nurturing at least these parts of my strengths because it kept showing up over and over and over again in lots of different ways, right?

Kate Wilkes 21:46

Yeah. Well, we say, you know, when you really get into these and you take a mental inventory of these strengths, then you can start to be mindful of where you're seeing them show up, and where you've used them in the past. So really given you clarity on, like, maybe why these are your strengths.

Cindy Gonos 22:03

Yeah, for sure. So be on the lookout friends for all of those little sparks, right? I feel like when you're in your strengths, you get that little jolt and you're like, "ooh, I like this", right? So you gotta start paying attention to. Okay, so we talked about how our experiences, specifically mine as a child, have nurtured our strengths. Kate, what about when we talk about that combination of how our strengths work together?

Kate Wilkes 22:30

Yeah, it's important to not just know, like, each strength and what each of those mean to you. But really, it's like leveling up when you know how when to understand, like, what those mix of strengths mean to you, and how to use that insight to learn what would equate to meaningful work for you, right? Because when you know way more about yourself, then more about what you want from the world, right? So that Clifton insight report, it shows you in black and white, how those strengths work together. And this is the best cheat code, right, to really start digging into your strengths.

Cindy Gonos 23:03

Yeah. So you're gonna be the, now I'm gonna pick on you, Kate. As we picked on me for being a child star, I guess. So, last time we chatted, we talked a little bit about how you use your strengths when you're helping with bringing new folks on board to the team. Right? So I want to kind of talk about how your strengths show up in different ways and in a combination of ways, right? Because I think one thing that's really important to know about strength is your strengths are always kind of playing in the sandbox together. So sometimes one strength will kick in to offset or balance out another strength. It's like the force, right? There's got to be balance in the force. And we often talk about the shadow side of strengths. Right? Kate, tell everybody what the shadow, tell them about the shadow side of strengths. I don't know if we've talked about that. And that's like…

Kate Wilkes 24:07

I feel like if you're better explaining it, but I always think about it as the dark side or have your strengths like that thing that can make it almost work against you, right?

Cindy Gonos 24:19

Yeah. So I was gobsmacked. I've ever read that word before. I was gobsmacked to find out that our strengths and our so-called weaknesses, you know, I don't believe in weaknesses. But anyway, our strengths and our weaknesses are the same, right? So it doesn't mean the opposite of each strength. But it means what happens when that strength goes too far. Or like when we hear folks saying, "Oh, I associate my X strength with this thing I really, really hate doing", right? Or it can be what's the worst perception that somebody with a strength as we on the other end of the spectrum would have, right? So that's when we start to think about, if our shadow side of our strength is the most extreme negative version of that strength, that's where having different strengths and your top five are going to start to offset, right? So a really great example of this is, your number one strength and what I admire the most about you, Kate is your Empathy. Right? So when you think about Empathy, what could potentially be a shadow side of it?

Kate Wilkes 25:27

It's just tiring, right? Because you like, you want to empathize with every single creature and human that you meet, oh my gosh, don't even get me started if we see an animal in the road that's been hurt, right? Like that Empathy is strong here. And you can often, when you have, like, a deep sense of Empathy for people, you can really take on those feelings. And it can start to affect you, if you let it go too far, right?

Cindy Gonos 25:55

Yes. Not only can it affect you, but it could also, if you're on a team, it can start to hinder the progress of the team, right? Because as an Eempathizer, you sense those emotions, you understand people's feelings, and you don't want them to have hurt feelings. And then here's where some of your strengths come in to make sure that that doesn't happen. Right? So your second strength on your list is Responsibility. Responsibility is all about commitment. You do what you say you're going to do, right? One of your other strengths that's in your top five is Achiever. What is achiever about, Kate?

Kate Wilkes 26:34

Getting it done.

Cindy Gonos 26:35

Yes. Right. So you're still going to understand people's feelings, you're still going to sense their emotions. And you're going to keep to the commitments, and you're going to still make things happen. Right? So one of the ways that you're going to keep things moving is your number three strength, which is Input. Tell me what Input's about.

Kate Wilkes 26:57

Input. So we talked about what you wanted to be as a kid, right? I wanted to be... 10 year old me wanted to be an architect. My cousin and I both actually wanted to be architects, shout out to Nathan, if you're listening. We laid around on the floor with giant pieces of paper, and drew houses, right. So I was always collecting information, thinking I was going to be an architect. I was devouring anything in the encyclopedia that I could find about what architects do, how to be an architect. We didn't have the internet when I was little, so you had to kind of soak things up from around your world. Today, that looks like still books and Wikipedia instead of encyclopedias. The internet and spreadsheets like, I am the queen of spreadsheets, right? I like to collect as much information for a thing that I can collect so that you have all the options and the knowledge, right. I once did a travel spreadsheet, I guess it was last fall, right? This is a funny story. I was doing a spreadsheet for mine and my husband's anniversary trip. And I did. And then Cindy says "Hey, we're getting ready to go to New York City, send me your travel spreadsheet, so I can kind of like set up our travel and see what you've done." and then she comes back to me. She says, "Why does this thing have 12 tabs?" I'm like, "Because I have Input, right?" I want to know all the things, collect all the information because you don't know when you might need it.

Cindy Gonos 28:34

Yeah, right. I think that if we tie it together, because we're gonna keep interweaving these strengths, right? Not only do I find folks that have Input, you guys don't just collect information and data. But you collect, I don't wanna say relationships, but you have a way of connecting with people, right? But the magical thing about people with input is you guys remember stuff. I was talking to a gal the other day. And she wasn't really seeing Input, right. It was one of those situations where she said, "I don't really see how this shows off." And as we were having our conversation, she said that when she has friends or people that she hasn't seen in a while, she's really good at remembering if something about them has changed– their face, something that's a little bit different, right? And I said that's where your Input is showing up. Because remember people's faces, right? Like, I'm not collecting all of that sort of thing. But that's what she's collecting about people. That's how she is going to remember them for later. Right. So the intent behind Input is I'm going to kind of stash this away like a little squirrel because I don't know when I'm going to need that information later on. Right? When you're Empathy starts to kick in and you're sensing emotions, you also remember things about that person that you learned from them before. So you're able to bring that back out, right? And for the sake of all the things that you do, a lot of times, what your role Kate is that I see in, not as just as a team member, but also as my friends, we are friends, is you're really great at being able to find the potential in something and help someone get something done. I'm a really great starter, that's what Activators are about, right? Activators are about. Achievers are going to accomplish it. Right. So I know I'm really great at getting started. But I can lean on Kate a little bit, not too much, I'm not trying to take advantage of your Empathy, right? But I'm gonna lean on you a little bit because I know that you have Input, and you are Achiever, and you're going to be able to see where's the best place for this to grow.

Kate Wilkes 30:54

How do we take action? How do we finish out the process? What does it look like?

Cindy Gonos 30:58

Yeah, absolutely. So I see kind of all around here where you're kind of pivoting on each of your strengths. Right? So okay, I was gonna use this as an example. I had it in my head, and you were talking about your spreadsheet for your and Kevin's trip. But one of the things that you run on our team is when we do our in person, right, when we do our in person team meetings, you take care of every single aspect of travel and planning for everyone on the team.

Kate Wilkes 31:35

I love it so much.

Cindy Gonos 31:35

I know you do, right. And sometimes I'll look at the sheets, and I'm like, "nope." But I think that that's a really great example. And it seems like a small thing, right. But it's so important that you said "I love it" as soon as I said it. So what I see, obviously, is part of what you do when you're doing that is you are helping to determine what's the agenda, what are we focusing on, right? What can we focus on? So that's where developers is showing up. Because you're saying how can we incorporate things that we can use to grow as a team, right, like team building, and as an organization? Obviously, we got to get this stuff done, right. So you're so good at timing things out, you know how long it's gonna take, you know where to put your brakes, but you know how to do it without killing everyone, which is, again, where your empathy starts to come in, you know what we think fun, you know what we think he's going to be boring. You're taking everybody into account. So there could be 10 of us coming. But you're going to try to look at this whole planning from everybody's perspective, right? Obviously, responsibility is coming in, because there's deadlines like you got to get airlines booked, you got to get AirBnB booked, you gotta get all that stuff booked. And in order to get all of those things booked, you got to collect and gather the input. Your input, right?

Kate Wilkes 33:00

That's the best part.

Cindy Gonos 33:00

Yeah. So even when you think about one component like and that is like an inkling of what capabilities does on this team, right? That it's something that you enjoy. And it's a place where all of your strengths are showing up. So, again, when you're working within your strengths, you can feel it, right?

Kate Wilkes 33:19

You can feel it.

Cindy Gonos 33:20

Yes, you can 100% feel it.

Kate Wilkes 33:23

I can walk out of this office at the end of the day, with a smile on my face. And I can know exactly which strengths I was living in today to make me feel good. And when you know that, you will never settle for less than that again. Right.

Cindy Gonos 33:39

Yeah, your strengths are like your hype. I feel like. So anytime someone comes into this process of career change, they come to talk to us, or even if they don't want to change careers, they just want to know more about themselves, it's so hard for me to try to articulate the difference between starting off and not really understanding what your strengths are. And then getting to that point where you see them, you recognize them, you anticipate them, you know how to nurture them, and almost more importantly, you know how to talk about them. Right?

Kate Wilkes 34:12

Right. I was telling somebody the other day, “by the time you come through this career change journey working with us”, it was a client, brand new client, I said, “you're gonna feel so much smarter in interviews”, because they'd said, "I don't really know how to talk about myself in interviews." And I said, "you're gonna know how to talk about yourself, your strengths, what you bring, what you're good at, what you love doing by the time this process is over." So I always tell everybody, "Go do, even if you're not trying to immediately make a career change, go do those strengths, do the thing. And if you have, go back to those results, and reread them again and dig deeper into them." Fun fact, 95, 99, maybe, percent of our resources are free. We're gonna drop a link in the description. It's happentoyourcareer.com/resources you can find a link there to go take the top five Clifton Strengths Assessment, you can find some other resources in there as well. We've got some other good podcasts stuff, but we will drop all those links in the description. But if you're ready to chat, if you want to, whether you've done your strengths or not, whether you're confused about them, or you've already done them, and you just realize, "oh my gosh, I am not working within them", if you're ready to chat with us, and we can talk about how we can help you make a career change, we're going to drop that link to schedule in the description as well, and we'd love to get on calls with people, Cindy and I both to talk about how can we help you.

Cindy Gonos 35:42

I love it. Kate, this has been so fun. As always.

Kate Wilkes 35:47

As always. One fun note, Cindy, and I have strengths that are very opposite, right? So find yourself a work bestie who has strengths that are the opposite of yours, and you will work wonderfully together. What she doesn't have, I bring. What I don't have, she brings. And that's really important that we know our strengths so that when we're collaborating, you can really make the best of a project because you can have so many good strengths combined.

Cindy Gonos 36:13

I love that you said that, Kate, and I think for our leaders out there, think about your teams and think about their strengths and think about how you build your team with the right people, with the right strengths, because they're going to bring it.

Scott Anthony Barlow 36:33

Here's a sneak peek into what we have coming up in store for you next week.

Speaker 4 36:39

I was always doing that when I was not at work. When I would leave work, I would either be going to teach a class or going to take the class, my life very much revolved around fitness.

Scott Anthony Barlow 36:51

We all have a place where we feel comfortable and natural interactions, where we're excited about life, and happy to be ourselves. But what if you could feel like that all the time, even when you're working? I've heard people say, "I feel like I have to be a different person at work." Or, "I feel like I'm living two different lives." Many times through my years working in HR operations and interacting with clients at HTYC, I've heard this over and over again. Well, it turns out work doesn't have to be this way. To thrive at work, you must first figure out where you feel most like yourself, and where you can be more of who you want to become.

Scott Anthony Barlow 37:35

All that and plenty more next week right here on Happen To Your Career. Make sure that you don't miss it. And if you haven't already, click Subscribe on your podcast player so that you can download this podcast in your sleep, and you get it automatically, even the bonus episodes every single week, sometimes multiple times a week. Until next week. Adios. I'm out.

Ready for Career Happiness?

What Career Fits You?

Finally figure out what you should be doing for work

Join our 8-day “Mini-Course” to figure it out. It’s free!